Four Tiles copydora.jpg


May 11, 2024 - May 12, 2024

Online event

You've got a book coming out. Your dream is coming true. But why does the idea of self promotion, school visits and launching your book feel like a nightmare? Time to sign up for SCBWI British Isles' famous BOOK LAUNCH BOOT CAMP. Two Days of everything you ever needed to know about launching a book for children and young people. Award-winning authors Candy Gourlay, Sara Grant and Mo O’Hara PLUS panels of industry insiders will get you up to speed. Sign up for two days of ideas, information and inspiration! The sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be available to rewatch until the 11th of June 2024. PLEASE NOTE THS EVENT IS NOT FREE! CLICK ON THE BOOKING LINK ON THE MAIN EVENT PAGE TO BOOK and PAY FOR YOUR PLACE (or APPLY FOR A GRANT).

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 00.26.52.png


DAY ONE: Saturday, 11 May 2024

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 21.39.14.png

9:30 a.m.

Log in and meet your drill sergeants: Candy Gourlay, Sara Grant and Mo O'Hara

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 21.44.18.png

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Planning for Publication. Editor and author Sara Grant shows you how to plan for your big book birthday

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 21.56.48.png

11:30 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.

Take a break.

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 00.33.07.png

11:40 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Publicist Nina Douglas spills the beans on how authors and illustrators can work with their publishers for an optimum launch.

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 21.59.21.png

1 p.m. to 1.45 p.m.

Time for lunch!

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 22.39.32.png

1:45 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.

The How and Why of Digital Opportunity. Candy Gourlay discusses online platforms, social media and the art of making author videos.

DAY TWO: Sunday, 12 May 2024

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 21.39.14.png

9:45 a.m.

Welcome back!

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 22.56.06.png

10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Video: Boot Camp alumnae share their roller coaster book launch experiences – and dispense wise advice for the current cohort

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 23.02.19.png

10:30 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

Getting Your Act Together. Mo O'Hara teaches everything you need to know about School Visits – from getting bookings to performance.

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 23.10.58.png

11:50 to 12:00 p.m.

PANEL: Librarian Jenny Hawke and Bookseller Fleur Sinclair on organising, designing and programming author events

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 21.59.21.png

1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.


Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 21.39.14.png

1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Ask us ANYTHING! A final Q&A with Candy, Sara and Mo

About the Speakers

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 23.30.40.png


Originally from America, Mo moved to London because she wanted to live abroad but spoke no foreign languages. After a brief and unsuccessful stint as a serving wench at the Tower of London Mo found work as an actress and comedy performer. It was when she toured the UK as a storyteller that she started writing for kids. Now, Mo lives in South London with her husband, her two kids and her two (slightly bitey) cats. Mo’s New York Times Bestselling series MY BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH has been translated into 14 different languages. She writes, picture books, young fiction and graphic novels including AGENT MOOSE (Illustrated by Jess Bradley) which is out with Scholastic in the UK and Macmillan in the US. Her latest young fiction series, HONEY'S HIVE (illustrated by Aya Kakeda), with Anderson Press is out in April. Mo’s latest picture book, HUSH LITTLE ROCKET (illustrated by Alexandra Cook) is out with Macmillan in the US in March. Mo has toured extensively across the USA and the UK and has also visited schools and festivals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mo has been a SCBWI volunteer for about twelve years and loves organizing PULSE events with Candy Gourlay and doing Boot Camp with Candy and Sara Grant!

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 23.38.55.png


Sara writes and edits fiction for children and teens. DARK PARTIES, her first young adult novel, won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Award for Europe. Ten of her books have been traditionally published, including two series – CHASING DANGER, an action-adventure series for tweens, and MAGIC TRIX, a funny magical series for young readers. As a freelance editor of series fiction, she has worked on fourteen different series and edited nearly 100 books. She consults with Storymix, the inclusive fiction studio ( She’s taught master’s courses on writing for children/teens at Goldsmiths University and the University of Winchester. She has given writing workshops in the US, UK and Europe. She co-founded Undiscovered Voices – which has launched the writing careers of more than a hundred authors and illustrators, who now have published more than 400 children’s books. (

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 23.55.47.png


Candy Gourlay has written picture books, young fiction, middle grade and young adult – which is great because she can now do school visits for all ages. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Waterstones, the Guardian, the Blue Peter, the Branford Boase and the coffee book awards (Costa and Nero). Her latest novel WILD SONG has just been longlisted for the Carnegie. Candy, who has worked as a web and graphic designer, was an early adopter of digital platforms, blogging, and creating video for social platforms. She has given presentations on digital opportunity, virtual events and author platforms for Booktrust, the Society of Authors, SCBWI and the Bookseller Conference. Candy has been a SCBWI volunteer for more than 20 years.

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 00.02.02.png


I am a public Children's Librarian for Bromley Libraries based at Orpington Library but also part of the Children's Team helping to deliver events and activities across all the libraries in Bromley. I am very active in the Youth Libraries Group (YLG) and passionate about children's literature and library services. I have been a YLG SE Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judge and in 2021 won the YLG award in recognition of my work with children and young people. I am currently the South-East regional representative on the YLG National Committee.

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 00.05.06.png


Fleur Sinclair is the owner of the Sevenoaks Bookshop in Kent, winner of best independent bookshop for the UK and Ireland at the 2021 Bookseller Industry Awards, and winner of best national bookshop the 2022 Muddy Stilettoes Awards. She is Vice President of the Booksellers Association and sits on the board of

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 00.07.48.png


Nina Douglas has been a publicist for over 20 years, both working at major UK publishing houses as well as working as a freelance publicist. Her time in-house was spent working at Scholastic, Hodder Children’s Books, Random House Children’s Books/ David Fickling Books, Orion and Hachette, and she was associate PR Director for Barrington Stoke. Nina now runs her own business, ND PR. In 2021 Nina launched an author/ illustrator training strand to her business with Lit Up, soon to be expanded with a new offering, the Pocket Publicist. Nina can be found mostly on Instagram - @ninacdouglas And also (less frequently) on Twitter - @ninadouglas



Frances is currently the Head of Children's Sales at Bloomsbury, leading the UK Sales team and creating market leading strategies for best selling brands and authors such as the Bunny Adventures, Katherine Rundell and Harry Potter. Prior to this she worked at Nosy Crow for over seven years, selling in the award winning Felt Flaps: Where's Mr/Mrs series, as well as Pip and Posy, Shifty McGifty and Christopher Edge.


  • Authors and illustrators – traditionally or self-published – who have a book coming out in the next 18 months, or have recently had a book published
  • Authors/illustrators with a book deal
  • Midlisters in need of a refresher
  • Authors/illustrators who are in advanced stages of self publishing a book including having a set publication date

*Just to be clear, Boot Camp, is NOT going to address:

  • Agent and publisher submissions
  • How to self-publish
  • Writing craft


£50 for SCBWI members / Society of Authors members

£90 Non-SCBWI/Non-SOA Members

No refunds. Programme subject to change without notice.

Your Zoom link will be included in the confirmation email when you book your ticket.

Recordings will be available until 11 June 2024.

Deadline for booking your place is Friday 19th April. Don’t miss out.

A LIMITED NUMBER OF FULLY FUNDED GRANTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SCBWI MEMBERS IN FINANCIAL NEED AND WHO BELONG TO UNDER REPRESENTED VOICES. We recognise all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA+, BAME, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalisation. Please apply here

Questions? Contact Mo or Candy on

Four Tiles copydora.jpg